The hills around East Meon and Petersfield have been busy with paragliders and hangliders since the pandemic restrictions eased and freedom of the skies would not be possible without the local farmers and landowners who allow pilots to launch from their land.

The sport can trace its origins back to the 1890s, but it really took off in the 1970s and the Sky Surfing Club was formed in 1974 flying from Butser Hill.

Pilots love sharing the skies with the birds, but newcomers must undergo rigorous training; every UK pilot must be a member of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) who oversees the sport through training programs, airworthiness standards, and pilot certification.

Once qualified, fledgling pilots, join a club and develop their skills under the watchful eye of a coach.

For more information, visit the Sky Surfing Club website at skysurfingclub.co.uk or the BHPA website www.bhpa.co.uk